Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Peru: Opposition to demand Alan Garcia's resignation for "permanent moral incapacity."

Lima April 7 - Opposition leader Ollanta Humala announced on Tuesday that the Peruvian Nationalist Party will present a demand for Peruvian President Alan Garcia be removed from his post for "permanent moral incapacity."
Humala said the demand is being made in the face of "the policy of criminalization of protest" that exists in the country, which he said has resulted in more than 70 dead and 600 injured in the four years of Garcia's term.

Humala explained that "a very serious fact can be shown, which is a policy of criminalization of protest, which so far during his four-year-rule is leading to a growing number of deaths."
"There are more than 70 dead, more than 600 injured, people disappeared, one political refugee and more thant 1300 Peruvian citizens, the majority of them social leaders, that have been charged with the crime 'protesting against the Government'", he said.
Some 6,000 artesanal miners are currently blocking the road in the town of Chala, about 620 kilometers south of Lima, where six people died last Sunday (five by gunshot wounds), in clashes with police.
In the clashes twenty civilians were also wounded (15 shot) and 8 policemen, said the Ombudsman.

The protest is against a decree that aims to formalize mining in the jungle region of Madre de Dios, with a great biodiversity and the main focus of artisanal gold mining.

Garcia reiterated Tuesday that his government would not negotiate with the miners until they stop the protests and road blockades.
The president warned that his Government's obligation is to "respect and enforce the law" and stressed that "no one can block roads without the risk of a charge and a criminal penalty."

However, Humala together with a spokesperson for his party said today he would evaluate the terms of the demand for the president's resignation and that his party is also seeking the interpellation to the prime minister, Javier Velásquez.
In this regard, he indicated that "there must be a political, not just operational, responsibility, that corresponds to police orders."

"Why did the prime minister? Precisely because he is the great coordinator of this whole operation and which has finally come out with a more radical position than those who are on the road, a hardline position that he is not going to dialogue" he said.

According to Humala, in the current administration there is a policy of "not giving importance to life in the face of the implementation of certain policies that respresent the interests of economic groups."

"The government is in favor of defending this model, the crony capitalism, defending various economic 'lobbies' that are behind the takeover of public infrastructure, natural resources, it has no qualms about putting at risk the lives of citizens, who ultimately are those who elected it," he concluded.

Translated by Kiraz Janicke, republished from

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